With more than 175 million users in 200 countries, LinkedIn has become an online marketing tool to be reckoned with for business.
Dubbed the “world’s largest professional network,” LinkedIn can be more than just a way to stay connected to your colleagues. It can also be a tool to help you promote your business and find new customers.
To get the most out of using LinkedIn, it’s important to utilize the marketing tools that are built-in to the platform. Here are creative ways to use six popular LinkedIn features to help you grow your business.
LinkedIn Company Pages: If you don’t already have one, it’s time to create a free LinkedIn page for your company. Much like a Facebook page for your business, your LinkedIn company page will allow you to promote your company or service to a wide array of professionals in a variety of industries. Your LinkedIn company page is the place where other LinkedIn users will go to find out about what you sell. To get started and set up your page in a few easy steps, watch this two-minute instructional video from LinkedIn — http://learn.linkedin.com/company-pages/setup/
Polls: Testing a new product? Have an idea for a new service? LinkedIn polls are a great way to engage with an online community of professionals who can help you gather feedback about your business. LinkedIn polls can be shared using Facebook or Twitter and you can even embed a voting tool on your own company website to create a dialogue with others. To install the LinkedIn poll app on your company page, click here for step-by-step instructions — http://linkd.in/16Snlx
Recommendation ads: Looking for ways to get resounding endorsements about your product or service? LinkedIn recommendation ads allow you to showcase your business to millions of members. When a LinkedIn member recommends your product or service, an ad is sent to everyone in that member’s network. While ad rates vary for this service, you can set the amount of money you would like to spend. LinkedIn has a page that can give you all the information you need to get started — http://linkd.in/ROftvb
Display ads: Want to target specific customers with different product messages? Much like other social networking platforms, you can do this by placing ads for your business on LinkedIn. You can also target specific audiences using demographics and geo-location. You can develop the ad, track the amount of times your ad has been viewed and get other metrics to make sure your ad is having the desired effect on your bottom line. Check http://linkd.in/yN2sIw
Status Updates: You can use LinkedIn status updates to promote your business, but be careful, sharing anything other than professional information on LinkedIn is frowned upon. For example, share articles, posts and other information that will be helpful to your network of colleagues. Things like being late to pick your kid up from school because of horrible traffic or your review of the latest blockbuster movie are best saved for more personal social networking platforms like Facebook or Twitter.
On LinkedIn, share items like business meetings with people who might be helpful to your colleagues, information on seminars or business events, etc. Check out this LinkedIn discussion group detailing the do’s and don’ts of posting status updates — http://linkd.in/JlP8TA.
InMail: This feature allows you to contact anyone on LinkedIn directly, even if that person is not part of your network. LinkedIn guarantees that you will receive a response within seven days and if you don’t, LinkedIn will send an InMail for you. This is a great way to reach people you may not be connected to, but want to do business with.
For more tips on how to effectively market your company on LinkedIn, check out www.bizbytes101 .com